Futurism interprets most of the prophecies as still awaiting future fulfillment. All prophecy is “future” when it is written, but a Futurist holds that most of the prophecies are still future today. These prophecies will be fulfilled at the end of history.
The great tribulation, the number of beast, the antichrist are all yet to be fulfilled. They will occur near the end of the world.
The uniqueness of Futurism is their belief in a future “millennium.” That is, Futurists expect Jesus Christ to return and to reign on the earth as King for a long time (perhaps exactly one-thousand years). The millennium is not an era of perfection, as sin will still be present. The eternal state takes place after the millennium.
There are actually two main views of Futurism in our day:
a) Some hold that the millennium is a return to Judaism. That is, God will remove the church from the world and re-establish Israel as a nation on earth, with Jesus Christ ruling in Jerusalem for exactly one thousand years. The temple will be rebuilt, the priesthood will be reestablished, and animal sacrifices will resume.
This form of Futurism is called “Dispensationalism,” and is probably best known today by the popular Left Behind series. John MacArthur and Chuck Swindoll are two of the most well-known Dispensationalists.
b) Other Futurists hold that the millennium is a time of peace and tranquility for the church. Jesus Christ will return to earth and reign as King for a long period of time (perhaps exactly one thousand years), at the end of which, many Jews will be converted. John Piper and Wayne Grudem are two of the most well-known Futurists.
Because Futurism is the dominant approach to eschatology in twenty-first century America, we will be interacting with it at various points throughout our series.